Where Foodies Come To Talk

4 Great Gifts for the Caffeine Lover in Your Life

We’re all at least mildly obsessed with caffeine, but everyone has a friend who basically makes caffeine a staple of their personal brand. This means that they would probably be extremely happy to receive some caffeinated gifts at every occasion. Here are some ways to get creative.

Online Coffee Company Subscription

Many trends are driven by e-commerce and the capabilities we have online, which also opens up new gift-giving options within many industries. One of these industries affected is the coffee industry, which is good to know when thinking of coffee lover gifts. Moustache Coffee Club is offering monthly subscriptions where coffee can be delivered to your door. Some companies are already doing this for wine, but nothing compares to having the necessity of caffeine delivered straight to you.

Coffee fanatics would love nothing more than to be graced with a new coffee to try every month. E-commerce makes it possible for us all to be coffee connoisseurs with these monthly caffeine fixes.

Coffee Themed Gift Basket

An excuse to give a gift is an excuse to buy a bunch of coffee flavors, scones, and coffee flavoring for a gift basket. Caffeine fanatics will love the variety and thought put into a custom basket.

Some coffee fans like to try out different flavors or add-ins, but might not purchase these ingredients themselves. This gift basket is a good place to try out new flavors and fancy coffee accessories such as milk steamers or stirrers. A gift basket also is a great place to throw in a mug that matches the gift receivers personality, making this a personal and functional gift idea.

Tea-Themed Gift

Tea is a calmer caffeinated beverage to focus on and there are so many gifts in the tea industry that caffeine lovers will be obsessed with. Some companies have great branding for their teas and the amazing flavors to support the packaging. An example of a brand that makes great gifts is Tea Forte. The packaging is adorable and unique, which is even more reason to give it as a housewarming gift or a care package. Tea is comforting and when it’s cute, it’s even better.

Another way to gift tea is by finding a beautiful tea set. This will also set you up for future gifts, so this is a good idea for a tea-loving family member or friend. You can gift a tea set and then give them teas and extra accessories to go with the set as holidays and birthdays progress.

Gift Cards to Different Coffee Shops

Starbucks isn’t the only coffee shop out there. Buying gift cards to local coffee shops shows an attention to detail and gives the gift receiver a chance to see new places. Small gift cards to a variety of local coffee shops will allow them to explore their city and test coffees from around different areas. Gift cards might seem like an easy out in the unwritten gift giving book, but they can be thoughtful with the right idea in mind. Even just giving a gift card to their favorite coffee shop shows that you pay attention to their lifestyle and want them to enjoy their next few coffees on you.

In conclusion, the best gifts are the ones that allow your caffeine loving family members and friends to branch out and try new products, coffee shops, or tea brands. There are endless gifts in this industry that would make many gift receivers happy.

Top 5 Atlanta Dishes

Atlanta has far more to offer the culinary world than just peaches. The southern city is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots for gastronomy on the east coast. It’s easy to see why; it’s local heritage has multicultural roots from european immigrants and african slaves in the past and latin american, middle eastern, and asian immigrants in recent years. Atlanta is truly proving itself to be a cultural hub. (more…)

Hot Dog History: The Weiner Winner

It has become the Fourth of July tradition in America.

No, not the fireworks. No, not the parties and picnics. And no, not the alcohol imbibing.

This tradition occurs in Coney Island but captivates the world.

A Polish immigrant named Nathan Handwerker started a single hot-dog stand in Coney Island in 1926 with a $300 loan and has turned it into a multi-million-dollar enterprise – which includes restaurants, an hot-dog product line found in virtually every supermarket in the country. (more…)

Texas Is Its Own Sovereign Of Foodie Republic

There is a reason that Texas was once its own country. And breaking away from the Spaniards was just part of it.

The other part is because of the food. Yes, food often divides the United States into several different regions, where the food specialties are relatively consistent among several states.

But in Taxes, the Lone Star State is not the Lone Starved State. It has its food taken to a very unique level – so much so that there are a number of food recipes that are either very unique to Texas or so different from other similar recipes as to be only a Texas version.

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5 Epic Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes for Every Type of Foodie

Chewy, crunchy or melt in your mouth. No matter what their form or texture, chocolate chip cookies will always be a universal favorite. But just because it’s a classic does not mean you can’t experiment with it. If you are craving for something different here are some mouthwatering and downright amazing twists you can put on the usual chocolate chip cookie. These recipes will tickle the tastebuds of curious foodies of all types, from the adventurous eater to food god level:

Level 1: Adventurous Eater

Bacon Chocolate Chip

Ah, bacon. The crowning glory of any breakfast feast. Bacon isn’t just great for pizza and breakfast anymore, though. In recent years, it has found its way into many unlikely concoctions from artisanal chocolate to brownies. Now it’s time for your favorite cookie to feature this savory ingredient. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cut smoked bacon
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

    1. Cook bacon until it is crispy. Once done, place it on top of paper napkins to lessen the grease.
    2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange parchment paper on the cookie sheets.
    3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
    4. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until they are well blended.
    5. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until the mixture is light and creamy.
    6. Mix in the sifted flour, baking soda and salt.
    7. Add in the chocolate chips and chopped bacon and stir.
    8. Use 1 tablespoon to put the cookie dough on the cookie sheets. Leave an allowance of 3 inches between cookies.
    9. Bake from 15 to 17 minutes and leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes.

Level 2: Exotic Epicure

Avocado Chocolate Chip

Avocados are a tropical daydream with their smooth texture, rich taste and multitude of health benefits. In recent years, this fruit has become even more popular thanks to all the things you can do with it. You can enjoy it blended into a yummy smoothie or spread over golden slices of toast. Why not enjoy it with your favorite chocolate chip cookie as well? Are you ready to let your tastebuds go on an exotic tropical adventure?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mashed avocado
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • a handful of chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease your cookie sheets.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Stir the avocado, coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup together.
  5. Mix in the wt ingredients into the flour, baking soda and salt mixture.
  6. Mold the batter into balls about 1” in diameter.
  7. Arrange the balls on the cookie sheet and flatten them with the palm of your hand.
  8. Bake from 11 to 13 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool away from the oven.

Level 3: Rockstar Ravager

Whiskey Chocolate Chip

Some people love snacks with a kick. If you’re one of those people, then how about you make your chocolate chip cookies worthy of rock-stardom by mixing it with whiskey? That’s right, don’t just serve whiskey on the rocks. Start serving it in the form of crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies. Perfect this recipe and you might just have a crowd of foodie fans fawning after you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate wafers not cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean (split)
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Process the 3/4 cup of dark chocolate wafers in a food processor until they are pea-sized.
  2. Whisk the all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg, vanilla and bourbon and beat until well blended.
  5. Set the mixer speed to low and then gradually add the dry ingredients until they blend.
  6. Fold in the chocolate and the last pieces of wafers.
  7. Divide the dough into 16 balls and then place on a rimmed sheet.
  8. Tightly wrap it with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  9. Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Mix the vanilla seeds with the sea salt into a bowl.
  11. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Arrange the dough balls on the onto a baking sheet and flatten with the palm of hand until each ball is about 3/4” thick.
  13. Sprinkle the balls with vanilla salt.
  14. Bake the cookies and half way through, rotate the sheets. Bake until the edges become golden brown.
  15. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets before letting them completely.

Level 4: Food God

With marijuana legalization spreading like wildfire across the United States, it’s unsurprising that this plant has also become a star ingredient in many recipes. Take your baking skills to an unprecedented high (pun intended) by infusing your chocolate chip cookies with cannabis. Try this recipe out if you’re daring enough to experiment and reach food god level with your kitchen concoctions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cannabutter
  • 1 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your baking sheets.
  2. Combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl, mix the canna butter with the white and brown sugar until creamy.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and egg once the mixture has set.
  5. Keep mixing until the mixture becomes light before putting in the chocolate chips.
  6. Slowly add in the flour mixture in the medium bowl. Keep mixing until the cookie dough looks firm.
  7. Scoop out the mixture using a spoon and form 1/4 cup cookies on the cookie sheet. Spread the dough equally.
  8. Put the sheet into the preheated oven and bake from 18 to 25 minutes.
  9. Once the cookies look golden brown, allow the cookies to cool away from the oven.

Heart Healthy Dietary Suggestions: Save Yourself From The Trouble Of Heart Disease

Heart disease is a huge killer around the world, but especially in the United States.  A culture of excess has resulted in many easily avoidable life-threatening health issues among citizens, but it’s easier than you think to design your own personal heart-healthy eating habits.  

Healthy does not equal boring, limited, or gross.  The trick is to educate yourself on as many healthy food options as possible to keep your diet interesting.  Here are a few foods that are both heart healthy and delicious.

Blueberries

It’s really somewhat difficult to go wrong eating berries of any sort, but blueberries are especially heart healthy.  Berries and even wine (in moderation) are good for your heart due to their provision of antioxidant anthocyanins.  

Blueberries have some of the highest concentrations of anthocyanins, placing them in the spotlight for heart-healthy snacks.  Some studies have proven that blueberries can lower your LDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is good for the reduction of cholesterol, but it is also rich in soluble fiber.  Soluble fiber has been studied and found to naturally bind to cholesterol, keeping it out of the blood stream.  

It is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration that you eat at least 3 grams of soluble fiber each day to reap the maximum benefits for your heart.  Average participants in studies nearly always saw results in lowering their LDL (or bad) cholesterol levels.

Apples

Apples are especially rich in antioxidant flavonoids which are known protectors of the heart.  The skin of an apple is the most healthy part, as it is high in quercetin and anthocyanins.  

The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is full of truth.  Don’t skip out on apples in your diet, and they’re healthy as dried chips too.

Nuts

Nuts in all shapes and sizes are healthy.  Most offer a significant source of fiber, protein, unsaturated fats (the “good” fats), an array of minerals, and antioxidants.  Nuts are an excellent snack food for those quick eating opportunities throughout the day.

Kale

It’s pretty common knowledge that leafy greens are good for your healthy, but Kale, in particular, is super healthy.  Kale packs high doses of magnesium and potassium.  Magnesium and potassium are both great for regulating blood pressure and heart health.  

Avoid these stains in your diet:

There are some dietary choices you should avoid if you’re aiming for a heart healthy lifestyle.

Trans fats: deep-fried foods, fast foods, snack foods

Packaged foods: high-sodium box dinners, sugary breakfast foods

Flour-based foods: white pasta, white or egg breads, sugary cereals

Processed meats: sausage, bacon, fried chicken, salami

Yogurts: Yogurts with added sugars, processed cheeses

Death Row Meals of Famous Killers

There is nothing more eerily interesting to the common man as the mind of a serial killer. True crime continues to be the source of fascination for many, due to just how out of ordinary the crimes people commit can be, by people who could be next door neighbors or friends.

Nothing brings people together like food, and knowing that serial killers have a taste for something other than blood is as interesting as it is humanizing. Let’s explore the last meals of these convicted killers, before paying the ultimate price for their federal crimes: (more…)

5 Healthy Mid-Day Snacks for Busy Business Owners

It is a known fact that the right food helps keep the body healthy. For people who work a lot however, a mid-day snack is extremely important to keep your body in proper working condition. Simply having breakfast or lunch is not enough.

Most business owners work long grueling days, which require more energy than most. It’s very easy to eat poorly when in a rush, as fast food or a candy bar are very convenient, yet also very unhealthy. While at the office, you don’t have time to cook, so a quick snack is best.

The majority of offices do not have vending machines stocked with healthy options. It’s typically the complete opposite. While something like a candy bar or a soda might be quick and present you with an initial burst of energy, they all eventually lead to a major crash, which can leave you struggling to finish out the day. You need to be operating at optimal energy levels at all times — no business owner has time for an energy crash during his or her busy days. Here are five healthy snacks to reach for mid-day that will help power you throughout the day.

Greek Yogurt

We all know that yogurt is a good healthy choice, and it is also a great energy source. There are several different flavors to pick from, and you can also purchase plain Greek yogurt and add on your own toppings to keep it from being too boring. Fruit or nuts make good toppings and it keeps it healthy.

“You need to make sure you look at the nutritional labels, as there are many flavors and brands that are packed with sugars. Just because it says yogurt on the container doesn’t automatically make it healthy,” advises Darryl Howard of NuWays MD, providers of stem cell therapy in Boca Raton. Some Greek yogurt contains more sugar than a candy bar, so select wisely or better yet stick to plain yogurt and add fresh fruit yourself.

Almond Butter Packets

Next on the list of healthy mid-day snacks that are ideal for busy business owners is almond butter packets. It is no secret that almond does provides the body with strength and energy – and in butter form, it just tastes better.

Almonds also provide the body with protein, which is an essential ingredient to keep your body healthy and fit, as well as fueled with energy. If you don’t like it in butter form, a handful of raw almonds is a healthy alternate to consider. They are very simple to pack as well as store in your desk.

Protein Bars

“Protein bars are so easy to pack and break out when you need energy, and today you can find complete meal replacement bars that are low in fat and have no sugar. This helps to keep you powering throughout the day without crashing,” says Luqman Khan, founder of Wireloo, a company that reviews the best water purifying dispenser.

If you have a sweet tooth, consider a protein flavor that mimics a candy bar in flavor, just not ingredients. There are companies that have been known to make healthy bars which are rich in protein, iron etc. Typically, if they taste just like a candy bar they are packed with sugars and are essentially the same. You will have to be willing to give up a bit on the flavor side in order to keep them healthy. Protein bars provide the body with extra energy to keep you going strong all day.

Bananas

Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits available, and they give you a great boost of energy while also giving you the fiber that your body requires, yet many people don’t get enough of.

While many health experts recommend bananas as a healthy snack option, you need to realize that they do contain a lot of sugar. “People often forget that most fruits are high in sugar, so eating fruits as a snack every single day isn’t always the best option. Bananas are good to mix in a few days a week. Just be aware that they generally contain about 14 grams of sugar,” explains Jake Braun of ChopperExchange, where you can find out what your Harley is worth.

Nuts

Last but not the least are nuts. Nuts are known to possess protein which is essential for any working body and they help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Nuts also have vitamin E in them which is essential for the body as well, along with magnesium.

“Nuts are a great snack, but remember to just have a small handful, as their fat content is extremely high,” explains Dana VanDeCar, COO of Optimally Organic. While that is very true, you need to also understand that the fats found in raw nuts are healthy fat our bodies need in order to survive. You just don’t want to eat an entire can of nuts in one sitting.

Fad or Trend? Reasons That Soy Beans Might Be Around A While

Heath and diet fads come around about as often as a day ends in “-y” sometimes.

There are diets and health regimens in such numbers that it boggles the mind. There are plans that incorporate various types of foods (and excludes others), while there are others that focus more on exercise. Then of course, there are those that incorporate both because of the belief that exercise and certain foods will lead to better weight control, more energy, and other benefits.

Then there is “moderation in all forms.”

Among all of the diet and weight-loss fads, there are occasionally some trends that merge and become part of the new Western society. Vegetarianism and veganism have sprouted (pun intended) to the forefront, as have regimens like yoga and CrossFit. One of the recent Western “discoveries” in healthy food lately has been soybeans.

Soybeans were not necessarily part of Western culinary, though Virginia and several other American states grow and produce them. They have become prevalent in the last three decades, and that staying power seems to suggest that soybeans may not be just another “superfood” fad, but it may well be a trend that sticks around for a while. Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Better metabolism. Whether you are on a vegetarian diet or not, soybeans are valuable for the protein they offer. These proteins help restore and repair cells in the body, and when your body metabolizes more reliably because of enough protein, you feel and are healthier.
  • Weight control. Soybeans can be good in any eating regimen. They are versatile in that they can suppress appetite to prevent overeating and unhealthy weight gain, amd they can also be eaten in large quantities to help provide healthy weight gain if you are a bit underweight. These seemingly contradictory qualities can help you maintain a healthy weight and be an ally in your maintenance plan once you have lost or gained the weight you needed.
  • Helps the heart. Soybeans have low cholesterol and can prevent cholesterol buildup in the blood vessels, which helps the heart run more efficiently and improves circulation through the body.
  • Boning up the bones. Soybeans have high levels of calcium and other vitamins and minerals which promote good bone health, and can contribute to growth of new bones and/or healing of injured bones. Eating soybeans, by extension, can prevent common aging ailments like osteoporosis, or brittle bones.
  • Cancer/diabetes. What may make soybeans a “superfood” in some circles is that they can prevent cancer and/or the onset of diabetes. First, most cancers develop from free radicals which are released through metabolism – soybeans have what is needed to harness these free radicals before they infect healthy cells. And with diabetes, soybeans can grow the number of insulin receptors in the body, which can mitigate diabetes or prevent it altogether.

The latter point is perhaps the most compelling argument for including soybeans in your regular food-consumption routine as early in life in possible. With so many possible benefits of eating soybeans, it’s no wonder it has become a food trend – and it makes us wonder what took us so long to adopt them.

NEW Health and Beauty Trends to Follow

The days of waiting six months, for the next season to descend upon us, for the new trends to arrive is long gone.

Health and Beauty trends now move at a fast pace, even more so now with the creation and evolution of social media, fast-fashion and the constant want for what is new and fresh.

With the ever increasing fast pace of life, there is the counter-reaction of thinking, “What can we do to ensure our mind, body, and soul thrive plus be enriched?”

Well, the top 18 trends of 2018 are here! And they have proven to be spot-on. At the top of our list is Moringa. Native to India, Moringa is a plant which its leaves, fruit, and seeds are edible. Moringa is a trendy vegetable in Asian cuisine Moringa is the 2018 improved version of Turmeric, by being labeled as an even more powerful anti-inflammatory.

Moringa has two times the amount of protein as Spinach. Mark’s Fitness Blog has the reason for the importance of protein for your muscles as well, and three times as much iron filled with calcium, potassium, and vitamin A.

Another health and beauty trend to follow that is growing at a rapid pace is clean color cosmetics. As women move to more natural living and healthier lifestyles, they are seeking non-toxic makeup. However, in the past, non-toxic makeup was known for very little pigmentation. With new brands becoming more creative with their development, women are able to switch to non-toxic makeup while keeping their bold color choices and full coverage options. Therefore, we will continue to see a surge in beauty companies that offer natural or organic ingredients and they are anticipating the companies to have long-lasting staying power.

We are hoping this next trend goes from being considered a trend to a permanent and complete lifestyle change, what we all love to call Self-Care. By definition self-care is an extremely simple concept; care for oneself.

Easy, right? Caring for oneself should be effortlessly done without a question; yet, the thought of self-care used to sound selfish or a luxury that only wealthy women could afford to do. Now healthcare experts are pushing to educate women that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity.

How can one be an engaged mother, a productive career girl or a caring partner if we do not take the time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate in this challenging world? Self-care can be as simple as taking a bath every Sunday night, going to bed every night at 9 p.m. or eating a balanced breakfast every morning. All-in-all, the whole point of self-care is to keep your mind and body energized.

In a society that thrives off the next and new exciting trend, it is important to remind oneself of not taking these trends too seriously. Whether it is the latest health trend like the benefits of Moringa or the latest beauty trend that we see with clean color cosmetics, what is important is that we exercise self-care and implement the trends that can be for the long-term, beneficial improvement of our lifestyles.